Monday, March 2, 2015

Choose to be happy?

A number of years ago, I discovered the book, Love Without Conditions, by Paul Ferrini. This book has become my new Bible. As I do my People magazine, I keep this book beside the toilet, and regularly open it to any page to see what wisdom the Universe has decided I need in that moment. Today, my "ah ha" (aka, Oprah Winfrey) revelation is located in the chapter on "Power and Mastery". On page 124, I read, "...are you willing to give up your 'important' goals for the sake of your present happiness? All of the chaos and confusion in your mind and your experience can be transcended through your simple decision to be wholly present and attentive right now." "...Are you happy right now? If the answer is 'yes', then you are already in heaven."

Back in the mid-1980's, I discovered this revelation for myself. I decided that every decision we make in life boils down to two: do I want to be happy or do I want to be miserable? I decided, consciously in that moment, that I truly wanted to be happy. I've always known this, but every once in a while, I need to make the conscious choice, and make sure I am and remain on the path to happiness. I have always been a happy person, but was easily influenced by the "dark side". I may still have my "moments", but overall I find myself rooted in Happiness as a state of Being. I feel blessed by this fact, and am very grateful for it.

In the late 1990's, I became obsessed by the "Why am I here?" question in Life. "What is my mission? What was I brought here to do?" I know I have always been, since parochial elementary school days, a follower of Jesus and a lifelong student of Unconditional Love. I have read and studied Spirituality in all its myriad forms all my life, especially since rejecting the Catholic Church laws, prejudices, and inconsistencies. The Catholic Church did not answer the questions I began asking at age eighteen, so I turned to every book, workshop, class, audio cassette tape, CD set, philosophy course and Guru brought my way by the Universal Force that guides us all. Call this Force what you will: God, Angel or Spirit Guides, Fate, Destiny or The Law of Attraction. Labels don't matter. What does matter, is that I approached my Life with an open Heart and an Open Mind. I was and remain a willing Receiver of data in whatever form it is presented: words on a roadside billboard or the words in a song.

One Sunday morning, as became my practice for a while, I made a pot of Chamomile/Jasmine tea, sat at my dining room table equipped with my journal and Angel Guidance Flower cards. I wrote down whatever was on my mind and questions I had first. Then I closed the book and my eyes and began to breathe. I meditated for a few minutes and a thought came to me, "My mission in life is to keep Joy alive." I opened my eyes, drew four cards from the deck and read inspiring messages that supported my new revelation. How in the world do I keep Joy alive, I asked myself. Is this enough? Don't I have to "DO" something (more)?

When I retired from the Center for Astrophysics as a Telecommunications Specialist in 2005, some very famous Ph.D. Astrophysicists approached me in the halls. With their virtual five-year-old voices, each one asked me, "Who will make us laugh? Who will make us smile (when you leave)?" As I told them in those moments, and in my final speech, "You will." This is one way I kept Joy alive. I laughed and played; dressed in costumes and was very silly. I was also a respected professional, who addressed the lost little child in each of them with mine. I found that interaction very mutually satisfying...until it wasn't. When making people laugh and smile, aka happy, became more of a job than fun for me, I stopped working so hard at it. I just stopped. My costume characters (the witch every Halloween, the fairy godmother, Belinda Bunny, and most especially, Mrs. Claus) were sorely missed. Very important people would sadly approach me as Christmas came near and asked, "Is Mrs. Claus coming this year?" I had to look at their very disappointed faces and reply, "I'm sorry. She retired."

I love to smile, laugh, play and dance. Doing what you love is what makes you happy. I am happy. I choose happiness as a lifestyle. I choose it. I also see how easy it is to choose misery. I also choose that once in a while. But, when I choose to be miserable, I feel just awful (first emotionally, then psychically, then spiritually, then physically). I try to convince myself this darkness is normal. I'll be more like everyone else, I say to Me. Then, I let myself wallow in my misery for a little while. My wallowing in earlier days was much longer than it is now. I only allow myself to wallow in darkness a day or few before I choose a happy thought or action to move me in a different direction towards the Light. The Light suits me much better. I am more my-Self there. I am happier. I feel better in every way. I start moving, then I feel even better. I think lighter thoughts. I become more productive. My smile is genuine. My eyes light back up. People notice.

I choose to be happy. I decided long ago to be happy. Now, every decision I make is weighed on the happy/misery scale to determine if it is the correct decision for my life course. If it is not, I consciously shift to a decision that will keep me on the happy path. I keep Joy alive in the Universe. You're welcome.